Visit of His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan

We were delighted to receive a visit from our bishop, Metropolitan Silouan, on the weekend of 23rd/24th February. On the Saturday evening he had dinner with the clergy and members of the Parish Council, where we discussed matters relating to the life of the parish and its future development. In particular, we spoke about our use of the chapel at York St. John University: its advantage of centrality within a city which is itself a focal point for transport connections within the region but also the inevitable disadvantages in limiting the liturgical and pastoral activities that can be carried out. He advised us that for the moment we should continue to use the University chapel for Sunday liturgies but that we should seek a smaller place, outside the confines of the over-priced city, which might be our own, and in which we could conduct a fuller range of services and parish activities. Sayedna was very aware of the importance of our parish in this part of the country. To the East there is no Orthodox presence apart from Hull and to the North nothing until Durham. For this reason our congregation is far-flung and contains a very broad range of ethnicities. Many of our congregation make long journeys, with very inadequate public transport, to be with us, and we need to cherish and support their efforts.

On Sunday 24th, Sunday of the Prodigal Son, His Eminence served a Hierarchical Liturgy in the University Chapel. At the beginning of the service he ordained Maximos Bryan and John Kirkwood as Readers. Both of them have been a mainstay of our kliros for several years and their ordination is a recognition of their service an commitment to the Church. Unfortunately, Reader John is leaving us almost immediately because a change in his employment situation takes him to Lincoln. However he will be joining the parish of All Saints of Lincolnshire. York’s loss will be Lincoln’s gain. Many Years, Maximos and John!

For his sermon Sayedna preached to us on the importance of Repentance and Forgiveness for our lives as Orthodox Christians, particularly in view of the approach of Great Lent. After the service he met with the children of the parish and spoke to them about their prayer life and they were clearly delighted with the opportunity to meet and talk with him, appreciating his kind manner. We held a buffet reception for His Eminence in the University Refectory, catered for by the University and we all enjoyed it enormously. Sayedna made a point of talking to the various groups of parishioners, particularly the younger adults and everyone was touched by his gentle and good-humoured demeanour and his wise words of advice. Thank you, Sayedna, for your visit. Many Years and come back to us again soon!

Fr. Michael